All this fuss in the UK free press about a the girl who found a baby bat asleep in the padding of her bra and didn’t immediately realise it. She has my sympathy.
Earlier in the year, I’d washed some jeans and hug them outside to dry. I didn’t notice anything odd when I got them in that night, nor when I gathered them up un-ironed the next morning and pulled them on after my shower. But when I’d got them on, I realised I must have left a hanky in the pocket, so put my hand in to get it out.
How quickly does the mind react?
I went from “oh there must be a paper hanky in the pocket” to “ow! why’s there a pin in there?” to “oh my god, it’s alive” in a moment.
My scream brought my partner to investigate, by which time I was completely freaking out as I’d realised I’d been stung by one of those huge carpenter bees. Unlike the specimen in pictures on that page, the poor creature who’d tried nesting in my jeans pocket was upset at being handled and was in her death throes on the bathroom floor.
I’d heard that bumble bees only sting as a last resort and then die as the sting tears out their innards with it. I assume the same is true of the carpenter bee, so I was now torn between shock and pain and guilt at unwittingly having caused the creature’s death.
But it does make me think that people are unreasonable when they say the young woman should have noticed the bat in her bra. Even an adult pipistrelle is only 3-5 cm long, so if the one who decided to use the bra as a hammock was young, he was probably smaller than the adult bee I encountered and his weight would have been imperceptible.
Knowing how most people react to bats, I think the story seems to have played out well: the bat took refuge in an inappropriate place, was found and released to find a better place. Not really very newsworthy, when you think about it.